Anyone else's March Madness brackets busted after the first two rounds of the 2023 NCAA Tournament? Don't worry, because we have CBB DFS lineups to build for Thursday's Sweet 16 games. It should be a fun college basketball DFS slate with four marquee matchups on tap. Michigan State vs. Kansas State gets the night rolling at 6:30 pm ET and then it's Gonzaga vs. UCLA to wrap up the evening. Arkansas vs. UConn and Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee make up the rest of Thursday's March Madness Sweet 16 schedule. You can build CBB DFS lineups on both DraftKings and FanDuel for the 4-game slate.

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NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 College Basketball Betting Odds March 23

(per DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • 6:30 pm ET – Michigan State (-1.5) vs. Kansas State – 137.5 O/U
  • 7:15 pm ET – Arkansas vs. UConn (-4) – 140 O/U
  • 9:00 pm ET – Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee (-5.5) – 130.5 O/U
  • 9:45 pm ET – Gonzaga vs. UCLA (-1.5) – 145.5 O/U

CBB Projected Team Totals


  1. UCLA – 76
  2. UConn – 75
  3. Gonzaga – 73
  4. Kansas State – 70
  5. Michigan State – 69
  6. Arkansas – 69
  7. Tennessee – 68
  8. FAU – 64


College Basketball CBB DFS Picks 3/23

CBB DFS Top Guards

Markquis NowellKSUMSU940037.94940034.38
Nowell has been awesome all season and he’s stepping up when it matters most. The senior point guard had 17 points, 14 assists, and 52 DK in Kansas State’s first-round win and then 27/9/48 in the victory over Kentucky. He’s definitely expensive but is worth it if we’re getting 50 DFS points from him again. Michigan State will likely gameplan to slow Nowell down, so it makes him more of a GPP play.
Tyger CampbellUCLAGONZ790026.49710024.76
Campbell is already a strong DFS play right now, but his floor/ceiling are raised even more in a pace-boost matchup like this one vs Gonzaga. The UCLA point guard has 27 and 30 DK in the first two Tournament games and has stepped up more offensively recently with Jaylen Clark going out. Campbell is averaging 17 PPG and 33 DK over the past six games since Clark got hurt with an uptick in usage rate. Expect him to be popular in cash on this slate.
Santiago VescoviTENNFAU750027.47640025.04
Vescovi wasn’t great in the first-round win, but he stepped up for Tennessee in the victory over Duke. The senior point guard had 14 points and a stat-filled 35 DK, which is what we’ve come to expect from Vescovi with Zakai Zeigler sidelined. The Vols need Vescovi to do a bit more offensively as a scorer and distributor with Zeigler out and that’ll be crucial vs FAU’s strong defense. He should offer a strong DFS cash floor as he’s averaging 14 PPG and 30 DK over the past six games since Zeigler went out.
Tyson WalkerMSUKSU720025.17660023.61
Walker came up huge for Michigan State in the upset over Marquette. He scored 23 points on 8-for-17 from the field and added seven clutch free throws down the stretch. Walker put up 30 DK for the fifth time in the past seven games and should be firmly on our radar in the Sweet 16. This is a pace boost for the Spartans against Kansas State, which has allowed some big games to opposing guards all season and in the past month (including 21 points for Cason Wallace and 27 points to RaeQuan Battle in the NCAA Tournament).
Amari BaileyUCLAGONZ700020.96610019.22
Bailey has stepped into a bigger offensive role for UCLA recently with Jaylen Clark sidelined. The freshman has at least 29 DK in four of the past five games since Clark went out and he’s averaging 17 PPG and 30 DK over this span with a notable increase in shot volume and usage. His salaries have slowly increased but he’s still a bargain based on his recent play and a new role for UCLA. This pace boost vs Gonzaga makes him a great play again.
Tristen NewtonUCONNARK610024.85560022.65
If you’ve been playing CBB DFS this season, you know the UConn guards are usually GPP boom-or-bust plays. The offensive and overall DFS production is spread out more evenly across the top 5-6 players than most teams and they all have as good of a shot at 30+ DK as less than 20. With that in mind, Newton is a great GPP bargain for the upside on this slate. The point guard offers a good floor with assists and other stats, and he just went off for 27 DK last game. Newton has shown a 30-35 DK ceiling at times in the past month and the pace boost vs Arkansas presents the opportunity.

Also Consider:

  • Julian Strawther – Gonzaga (GPP)
  • Davonte Davis – Arkansas (GPP)

CBB DFS Value Guards

Jaden AkinsMSUKSU560019.34530017.74
Akins has been a solid cash value all season if you’re looking in the mid-5k range for a salary-saver. That’s carried over into the NCAA Tournament, though he “only” gave us 13 DK last game. Still, the 20-25 DK range is what we can expect in a pace-boost matchup vs Kansas State. We should see Akins get back to his double-digit points scored as he did in five straight before the last outing.
Desi SillsKSUMSU550018.71520017.41
In a secondary role to Powell and Johnson for K-State, Sills tends to do just enough to return DFS value. The senior guard has 15 and 19 DK in the two Tournament games so far but popped off for 43 and 28 DK in the two games prior. Since joining the starting lineup late in the year, Sills’ DFS floor is a bit higher over the past month and he’s scored double-digit points in four of the past five games. He's worth a look in GPP lineups.
Rasir BoltonGONZUCLA460018.79490017.32
If not for Bolton’s 17 points and clutch buckets in the second half, Gonzaga could’ve easily lost to TCU last game. He ended up taking 12 shots with seven free-throw attempts and had Gonzaga’s second-highest usage behind Drew Timme. In this tight matchup with UCLA, we could see Bolton take on a bigger offensive role again. The potential 5x value is there when Bolton is on offensively and he's an attractive bargain at sub-5k on both sites.
Tyreke KeyTENNFAU450015.12470013.73
Key is a very boom-or-bust value, but the highs are a 5x return at his cheap prices. The backup guard’s DFS production is usually directly tied to his points scored and three-point shooting. That gives him a volatile cash floor, but the GPP ceiling is there when he’s making shots – like his 16 points and 29 DK a few games ago. At least we can count on Key being a bigger part of Tennessee’s backcourt rotation with Zakai Zeigler out. He also has 16+ DK in three of five games since Zeigler got hurt.
Malachi SmithGONZUCLA430017.35440015.72
Smith is definitely a wild card DFS play in his secondary role for Gonzaga, but he’s become too cheap to ignore now. Smith has the offensive upside to score in double figures with 20+ DK at his best when he’s hitting threes. The minutes tend to fluctuate, but Smith could see more time against UCLA’s smaller lineups. He scored 11 points with 17 DK last game and had 20+ DK in three of the previous five games. The 6x upside is there at his cheap prices.

Also Consider:

  • David Singleton – UCLA (GPP)
  • Jordan Walsh – Arkansas (Cash)
  • Bryan Greenlee – FAU (GPP)

CBB DFS Top Forwards

Jaime Jaquez Jr.UCLAGONZ1000035.26870033.13
Jaquez is expensive, but it’s never a bad idea to pay up for his sure-thing DFS production. UCLA’s best player is averaging 19.6 PPG and 36 DK over the past 10 games and he’s put up 17 points/38 DK and 24 points/40 DK in two Tournament games so far. We know we’re getting 30-40 DFS points from him on a regular basis and his offensive role and overall DFS floor are even higher now with Jaylen Clark out. The pace-up spot vs Gonzaga makes him a top overall play if you have the salary to fit him in.
Drew TimmeGONZUCLA890037.36850035.32
Surprise, surprise. Drew Timme is dominating in the NCAA Tournament again. With 21 and 28 points scored in the first two rounds, the Gonzaga big man is now averaging 23 PPG across 11 March Madness games and has at least 20 points in nine of those. The guy just turns it on this time of the year and UCLA doesn’t exactly have the frontcourt defense to slow him down much. It’ll be tough to fade him in cash, especially in the highest total of the slate.
Anton WatsonGONZUCLA800027.58790026.04
Watson’s price tag has finally reached the 8k level on DK, but that’s a testament to how good he’s been for DFS. The Zags’ power forward can fill up the stat sheet in so many ways, especially as a rebounder and in defensive stats. Though he gets overshadowed by Drew Timme in DFS and real life, Watson is now averaging 12.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.9 steals/blocks, and 32 DK over the past 10 games. He has at least 36 DK in five of the past six games, including the first two Tournament matchups. Don’t overlook his stat-stuffing ability in cash or GPP.
Joey HauserMSUKSU750027.78670025.25
Hauser definitely doesn’t get the national recognition of other top college basketball players, but he’s been a pretty reliable DFS option. The power forward has 30 DK or more in three straight and five of the past six games while averaging 17.2 PPG and 30 DK over the past 10 contests. Though Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard are more crucial to Michigan State’s success, Hauser should not go overlooked in a pace-boost matchup vs Kansas State.

Also Consider:

  • Keyontae Johnson – Kansas State (Cash/GPP)
  • Adama Sanogo – UConn (Cash/GPP)

CBB DFS Value Forwards

Olivier NkamhouaTENNFAU620021.84600020.42
If Nkamhoua plays as he did against Duke, then he’ll smash the slate again. The senior power forward exploded for 27 points and 34 DK while taking over the game in the second half. Unfortunately, his role offensively and overall DFS production are tough to trust game to game. Still, the 25-30 DK upside is there at his best and he’s gone for 27+ DK in four of the past seven games. FAU’s stout defense makes him a risk-reward GPP play.
Jonas AidooTENNFAU500015.65480014.91
Aidoo had 17 and 23 DK in the first two Tournament games while playing a key role off the bench for Tennessee. Though he’s not starting, the sophomore big man is important to the Vols’ rotation with Zakai Zeigler sidelined. His mid-range shooting and shot-blocking presence (five blocks over the last two games) will keep him on the floor more often than Uros Plavsic in this matchup vs FAU.
Mady SissokoMSUKSU490015.29440014.30
Sissoko’s DFS production is usually capped because he only plays 20-25 minutes per game. Still, the potential to be a force in the paint and return value is possible in that limited playing time. The Michigan State big man had eight points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals for a 28 DK performance in the upset over Marquette last game. In another pace-boost matchup here, Sissoko could pop off for 20-25 DFS points again at his best in GPPs.
Mac EtienneUCLAGONZ34005.3440005.17
There’s a good chance Drew Timme will get Adem Bona in foul trouble. With that in mind, UCLA will need either or both Mac Etienne and Kenneth Nwaba to step into a bigger role and hold their own. It puts them in play as GPP value darts in the dirt-cheap price range if you want a contrarian exposure to the slate’s highest total. As for Etienne, he recently saw an uptick in minutes when Bona was out and he had 14 DK vs Arizona in the Pac-12 title game.

Also Consider:

  • David N'Guessan – Kansas State (GPP)
  • Kamani Johnson – Arkansas (GPP)


CBB DFS Core Plays 

DraftKings Cash:

  • Tyger Campbell – UCLA
  • Santiago Vescovi – Tennessee
  • Jaden Akins – Michigan State

DraftKings GPP:

  • Drew Timme – Gonzaga
  • Olivier Nkamhoua – Tennessee
  • Malachi Smith – Gonzaga

FanDuel Cash:

  • Jaime Jaquez – UCLA
  • Santiago Vescovi – Tennessee
  • Desi Sills – Kansas State

FanDuel GPP:

  • Markquis Nowell – Kansas State
  • Tristen Newton – UConn
  • Amari Bailey – UCLA

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